FAU Student Team Selected to Participate in Hybrid Motor High Powered Rocket Competition

FAU Student Team Selected to Participate in Hybrid Motor High Powered Rocket Competition

A team of Florida Atlantic University students from the department of ocean and mechanical engineering and the department of mathematics have been selected to participate in the 2014-2015 Hybrid Motor High Powered Rocket Competition. The event is sponsored by the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium (FSGC) and the Northeast Florida Association of Rocketry (NEFAR) to create a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) student outreach and promote interest in aerospace/space academic-NASA-industry partnerships. The launch day is scheduled for April 11, 2015 with a May 9 alternate date at the Clegg Sod Farm in Bunnell, Florida.

Approximately nine teams will compete from Florida colleges and universities. The FAU team named “FAU Ballistic Dynamic Owls” was selected for their proposal outlining the categories they plan to compete in and their detailed budget. Each selected team is awarded $1,000 that can be used for supplies, motors, kits and travel.

“Our team is very excited to be selected for this competition and to receive the funding to construct two rockets,” said Julian Gomez, co-project team manager and mechanical engineering student. “We are designing the rockets with fully tested and functional motors but with added innovations to the body that will still fulfill the competition design criteria.”

The six-person team includes members of the FAU American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and mechanical engineering students Gomez, Jake Adams, Patrick Hawkins, Justin Koenig; math students Rebecca Grimm and David Russo. The team faculty advisor is Erik Lundberg, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of mathematical sciences at FAU.

“Projects of this caliber help students develop skills in critical thinking, teamwork, knowledge of aerodynamics, mechanical engineering and general skills that will transfer to their major and future careers,” said Javad Hashemi, Ph.D., chair of the FAU department of ocean and mechanical engineering.

The objective of the competition is to build and launch a hybrid powered rocket. A hybrid rocket uses two different types of propellant - one solid and one in a gas or liquid form. Teams will be judged in two categories - the first category consists of launching a hybrid rocket to the maximum altitude and the second category challenges the teams to fly their rockets closest to 2000 feet in altitude. Teams will build their rockets from scratch or a kit and will earn points for flight and their engineering notebook that shows their log data, (calculations, drawings, sketches, test results, ideas, etc.). Teams are also required to submit a Hazard Analysis and a Failure Modes and Effects Analysis report to show that their rocket is ready to test and fly safely on launch day or they will be disqualified from the competition.

The competition is open to any university or community college team in Florida, both public and private.

October 17, 2014